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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Apr 26, 2010 3:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 1968

A truly terrible year for our country, But I was born (my kids care) and THE GRATEFUL FUCKING DEAD so hot, melted steel. I ponder quite a lot what it must have been like to play with that open socket, that chord spraying about the room not knowing or caring. Two pages on IA. Two.2. Two pages of all the music of that year.2. I have been poking around as to why. I need more information cause I can not understand why. Can anyone add anything?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 26, 2010 7:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968

Been discussed at some length here over the years, and assuming all you're getting at is the lack of shows, it seems the simplest explanation is time vs taping effort: it's inverse, right? The further we go back in time, and of course, not just for the DEAD, the fewer recordings avaialbe. Pure and simple.

Other threads has addressed more specific explanations (eg, when was BEAR around? When was he not? etc., etc.), but in general, the explanation seems primarily related to this fact of recording, for both AUDs and SBDs...just like with CREAM, there are more SBDs and AUDs in 68 than 66, for all the same reasons (but still very few overall, for the same reasons).

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Apr 26, 2010 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968

Hey WT, do you know of a thread which has a discussion or timeline of Bear's tours with the band? As far as I know he was sentenced to three years in jail in '67 but he was definitely back with the band by early '69 to record Live/Dead. Is it after the bust in New Orleans that he was confined to California?

It would be nice to know which shows he worked sound at... there's something magical about the instrument separation on his recordings... something to do with that Acid Test insight, I'm sure.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 26, 2010 11:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

At least there are more shows from 1968 than 1967!

The main factor into whether we have SBDs from any month is: was Bear there? There are a few others... (The Dead's taping for the Anthem album was a godsend for Dead collectors; their careless loss of many reels from '68 & '70 is a frustrating mess.)

Bear was the Dead's soundman from January to July '66 (he left after the Vancouver shows, when they were fed up with his system). So that's why we have lots of SBDs from the first half of '66, almost nothing from the second half.
The one show he taped in '67 was 9-3-67, when he happened to be visiting the band.

He was busted in December '67, but it didn't lead directly to any jail time or affect his Dead involvement, as he stayed out on appeal. (It did, however, increase the sentence he got when he was busted again in '70.)
In early '68 he was the soundman for the Carousel. (At that time Healy was the Dead's soundman.) In June '68 Healy went to work for Quicksilver, and Bear rejoined the Dead as their soundman.
So our SBDs resume in June '68 - however, obviously, most of the '68 reels Bear must have taped are lost. Either a lot of them were taped over, or perhaps the Dead didn't start really organizing & archiving the tapes until Jan '69, when they started working on the live album.

After the bust, the Fillmore East Feb '70 shows are the last ones Bear could tape out-of-state, as he was confined to California after that. The Dead apparently kept taping themselves until June; the last shows he recorded were San Rafael in July '70.
Then he spends a couple years in jail, rejoins them in August '72. By then there were other people working on the Dead's sound & taping shows, and Bear wasn't too thrilled with being part of the new team, but he stayed with them until, I think, '78, still taping some shows. (He taped one of the May '78 Dick's Pick shows.)

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Apr 26, 2010 6:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

I knew Bear was important to the scene- his chemical skills, his bankrolling the band's time in LA (only meat for you!) , his work running sound (though the boys should have abused him more- kidding). But I never put it together that among the highest quality reels in pre-70 were his work. I somehow knew that about 1970 but not before. Probably Bears Choice being my first 'official' CD that I owned. It's funny that way, how we process info. Are all the masters gone then for Jan/Feb "68 ? They had some snippets on RT2.2 Any hope post June "68? Feel like I have my finger in the air waiting for that miracle.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 27, 2010 12:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

Pretty much all the reels in pre-70 are his work. (Some exceptions, like obviously he didn't record Jan/Feb '68.)

I don't think his mixing approach was always perfect (a lot of those '69 shows are basically muddy mono, with maybe one drum over in one channel) - a bunch of people who worked for the Dead, like Betty or Kidd, also had high mixing standards & made excellent tapes. Bear's prime value was that he was the first, and without him they might not have gotten into the taping habit at all. (I think those few months in 1970 after he left are the last time they didn't tape every show themselves, for whatever reason.)

I wouldn't say the masters are 'gone' for Jan/Feb '68, we have lots of 2-track reels that give a fairly complete picture of the tour - the trouble is the Dead did so much chopping-up in the studio, stray reels were left here & there, a bunch of shows are lost. Those RT snippets came from a studio that was closing, a couple mix compilations had been abandoned there...short of another miracle like that, we're not likely to hear more '68.

Post-June, same thing, all is chaos -
This collection gives a good idea of what the Dead's '68 collection must have looked like:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd68-xx-xx.sbd.vernon.9426.sbeok.shnf
Random, unlabeled reels - some shows are known, some aren't - everything's fragmentary and we can only wonder where all the missing pieces went.

In Bear's interview in the Taping Compendium he talks a lot about his miking & taping philosophy, as well as his history with the band. A sample:
Q: At what point did the band start listening to tapes?
Bear: We listened from the beginning. "What was it like?" We thought it might be good to hear what it really was like. Or someone might say, "Gee, I think that was terrible, let's listen and find out whether it really was." Back in those days after the show we were usually wired up and weren't ready to sleep anyway. Everyone was working to try to get better. How can you get better if you don't ever listen to yourself? The only way you could find out what you had done was to listen to it later. In the heat of the show, no one can tell.
I learned to date the tapes more carefully after having to deal with tapes that said simply 'Saturday night' or 'second set'... For several years, when I went off to do my time, no one continued the practice, and for most of that time there were no tapes made from the board. That shows you how much interest everyone else had in taping: zilch. [He exaggerates here, it was really just a few months; but I share his bitterness!]
The tapes were stored in the basement of the house I was renting for a while. They were moved to Alembic studios when I went off to jail. I came back and found them on a huge pallet in the middle of a storage room. Tapes were missing. I've never recovered some of them.

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2010-04-27 07:40:18

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Apr 26, 2010 7:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

I remember a quote from Bear (I believe it was early 1971) stating that he had been away from the band for a while, and came to one of their shows on the East coast and his thoughts were something along the lines of "this is not my band, this is not what the Grateful Dead I know sound like"...

This was probably not too long before he was able to return to the scene...


Am I pulling this out of my ass?

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Apr 26, 2010 7:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

dpol. your not. I'm not sure of the book or '71 (early 70's though) but the scene had gone from something more organic to one of territory. Parrish does Garcia's stuff. Ram Rod does X....ect. I felt from his comments that he didn't have a place or felt esp. invited to have one. Before I go through the books does anyone know which one it is?

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Apr 26, 2010 7:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bea

Here's a review from http://www.archive.org/details/gd71-12-06.sbd.kaplan.2418.sbeok.shnf

Check out the first review. Oh shit, Gotta study for my exam tomorrow :)

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 27, 2010 12:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

Don't trust anything you read in an Archive show review - 90% of those people are completely clueless. (Don't trust Rock Scully too much, either...)

Anyway, I'd be astonished if Bear said anything about the band's sound in early '71, considering he was in prison. I presume he got to see the band when they played at his prison on 8/4/71 (I don't recall any quotes)... I don't remember what his first show back with the band was, but it was summer '72 - definitely by Berkeley 8/20 when he was mixing sound again. (Now that I think about it, I remember Betty Cantor saying she was copying tapes of the Europe '72 shows for him!)

He did notice differences coming back in the band's approach... After all, they'd spent two years becoming more 'professional', more people had joined the crew, the scene was not as welcoming to him as he expected. (But then, a lot of his comments, particularly when it comes to Winterland '74 or Egypt '78, boil down to, 'I tried to tell them how to get better sound but they were too pigheaded to listen...' The guy was/is a control freak.)

David Gans' book Conversations with the Dead is the one to go to - it has a long interview with Bear where he talks a lot about his mixed feelings coming back to the band in '72 and finding that the soundcrew was, as he put it, compartmentalized & territorial...he felt they didn't work as a team anymore. (And, Bear being Bear, he also felt he could do their jobs better than they could....)

There's also a nice long interview in the first Taping Compendium, where he has this to say about his return:
"Then I came back to a crew that was totally different when I left, and the job that I had been doing was split up amongst three other people, none of whom were willing to yield the territory. I met a lot of resistance in the scene, and after you spend a couple of years locked up, your social adaptability is not very good."

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2010-04-27 07:34:34

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Apr 27, 2010 8:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

Bear's interviews/comments area always fascinating . I would say about 40% of it is crazy, egomaniacal, WTF, stuff; 20% Ok, and 40% extremely insightful .
Scully's book is lot of fun, but... I smell some "George Washington, cherry tree " stuff here .

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Apr 26, 2010 5:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

The Liner notes to The Spectrum Sept. 1972 Dick's Pick's Release #36 I believe are a crash course in Grateful Dead Recording and Live Recording in general. He was and is light years ahead of his peers in terms of drum mic and instrument mic placement in live settings and his recordings are crystal clear of distortion and EQ interference. He used minimal mics and settings and ran a clear signal. Buy the #36 just for the liner notes - Oh, then go Straight to the Dark Star...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 26, 2010 8:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

For those who want to read Bear's notes, here's his page where he talks about all the Dead releases from his tapes, including the liner notes he wrote for each DP - he takes lots of opportunities to talk about his mixing approach. (And there's lots of other interesting info, too.)

http://www.thebear.org/albums.html

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Apr 27, 2010 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 & Bear

LiA- You have helped me mine a little deeper. Thanks!

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-04-27 13:41:56

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 27, 2010 12:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968

Sorry! Outa town...knew LiA could take over!